Fall Knights

North Penn, Acad­emy Park cap­ture District One Cham­pi­onships

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Kev Hunter khunter@21st-cen­tu­ry­medi­a­com

North Penn’s Nick Dil­lon (22) takes a re­cep­tion to the house dur­ing the first half of the District One Class 6A Cham­pi­onship against Gar­net Val­ley on Fri­day night. The Knights won 48-38.

TOWAMENCIN >> Quar­ter­back Reece Udin­ski threw North Penn to its sev­enth district ti­tle Fri­day night, as the se­nior’s 430 pass­ing yards and four scores led the way to a 48-38 win over Gar­net Val­ley dur­ing the District One Class 6 A Cham­pi­onship at Craw­ford Sta­dium.

The win sends the cham­pion Knights to a state semi­fi­nal show­down with the win­ner of the Park­land-St. Joseph’s Prep con­test, for the right to go to Her­shey.

Udin­ski helped the Knights pull away in the sec­ond half in front of a crowd of 6,000 fans, throw­ing a 15-yard touch­down pass to Nick Vas­ger to pro­vide a 42-24 lead at the end of the third.

Sec­ond-half touch­down runs by Nick Dil­lon and Ricky Johns com­bined to stretch the mar­gin to 48-31 with 8 min­utes, 48 sec­onds left to play, be­fore Gar­net Val­ley de­fen­sive tackle Joe Thomas rum­bled 46 yards for a touch­down on an in­ter­cep­tion re­turn, tight­en­ing things to 48-38.

How­ever, top-seeded North Penn got the first downs it needed to run down the clock, capturing the district ti­tle and run­ning its un­beaten mark to 14-0 for the sea­son. No. 10 Gar­net Val­ley fin­ished a mag­i­cal sea­son at 11-3.

The Jaguars, who got scores from Ja­cob But­ter­more (27-yard run) and quar­ter­back Nick Juliano (34-yard run), re­cov­ered from a slow start to make it a game.

Udin­ski started things 10-for-10, throw­ing touch­down passes of 65 and 83 yards to give the Knights a 14-0 lead.

On the first throw, Udin­ski launched a deep ball down the mid­dle to Dil­lon. The de­fender in cov­er­age, Sam Ru­dolph, was on Dil­lon tight but fell down as the ball got there, and Dil­lon made the catch and raced away for the goa­head score.

On the Knights’ very next play from scrim­mage, Udin­ski rolled right and fired a deep strike right into the hands of Johns, who caught the ball in stride and sped away to an 83-yard score and a 14-0 NP ad­van­tage.

The Knights’ third pos­ses­sion of the game ended the same way as the first two — in the end zone.

On a 4th-and-3 at the North Penn 35, the Knights pulled off a fake punt for the first down, as Jake Hubler took the direct snap, pow­ered into the line but then broke it out to the right into the va­cated area, run­ning for a 30-yard gain to set the Knights up.

Four plays later, Dil­lon charged in from seven yards out, push­ing the North Penn lead to 21-0 and Gar­net Val­ley into a deep hole.

The Jaguars came back, though, with Juliano find­ing But­ter­more on a 4thand-2 at the Knight 11. But­ter­more es­caped into the end zone for the Jaguars’ first points of the night.

Gar­net Val­ley inched closer with a de­fen­sive score on the next se­ries, as a crunch­ing pass rush by the Gar­net Val­ley front jarred the ball loose from Udin­ski’s grasp, and tackle Joshua Ciar­roc­chi con­verted the sack into a 30-yard re­turn for a score, slic­ing the mar­gin to 2114.

North Penn, scor­ing on four of its five first-half pos­ses­sions, dou­bled its lead to 28-14 when Udin­ski lofted a well-aimed toss to the back of the end zone, find­ing Vas­ger for a seven-yard score.

Udin­ski was 12-of-13 in the first half, throw­ing for 259 yards and three scores in point­ing the Knights to­wards the district crown.

PETE BAN­NAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

PETE BAN­NAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

North Penn’s Nick Dil­lon car­ries the ball in for his sec­ond touch­down dur­ing the first half against Gar­net Val­ley on Fri­day night.

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